SOS #9    J. Morris Hicks    (6-12-19)  
NINE profound sentences that changed my life
This SOS Memo is all about the "9s"
  • It is #9 in this series of SOS Memos.
  • It commemorates Dr. E.O. Wilson's completion of nine decades on Earth earlier this week (born 6-10-29).
  • It features nine compelling sentences from Wilson's 2014 book: The Meaning of Human Existence.
The final chapter of that book is entitled "Alone and Free in the Universe" - a chapter in which Wilson presents an uplifting way of pondering our options as a species going forward.

Between reading it on Kindle  and listening to it on Audible , I have read that chapter at least twenty times over the past five years - and it has been comforting for me.

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As for specifically how the following nine sentences changed my life, I will save that information for private conversations and future public talks. 

I encourage you to read these nine  insightful sentences carefully and then consider how the dilemma they describe is preventing us from coming together as fellow humans to reverse our unsustainable way of living on the only known planet in the universe capable of keeping us alive.

Dr. Wilson opened Chapter 15 with this question:

What does the story of our species tell us? 
  1. By this I mean the narrative made visible by science, not the archaic version soaked in religion and ideology. 
  2. I believe the evidence is massive enough and clear enough to tell us this much: We were created not by a supernatural intelligence but by chance and necessity as one species out of millions of species in Earth's biosphere.
  3. Hope and wish for otherwise as we will, there is no evidence of an external grace shining down upon us, no demonstrable destiny or purpose assigned us, no second life vouchsafed us for the end of the present one.
  4. We are, it seems, completely alone...and that, in my opinion, is a very good thing. 
  5. It means we are completely free and, as a result, we can more easily diagnose the etiology of the irrational beliefs that so unjustifiably divide us. 
  6. Laid before us are new options scarcely dreamed of in earlier ages; they empower us to address with more confidence the greatest goal of all time, the unity of the human race. 
  7. The prerequisite for attaining the goal is an accurate self-understanding; so what is the meaning of human existence?
  8. I've suggested that it is the epic of the species begun in biological evolution and prehistory, passed into recorded history, and urgently now, day by day, faster and faster into the indefinite future - it is also what we will choose to become. 
  9. Human beings are not wicked by nature; we have enough intelligence, goodwill, generosity and enterprise to turn Earth into a paradise both for ourselves and for the biosphere that gave us birth.
Prof. Emeritus E.O. Wilson
Harvard University

He goes on to say that we can plausibly accomplish that goal, or at least be well on our way, by the end of this century but for one thorny problem he cites: we are an innately dysfunctional species. 

My primary takeaway focuses on Sentence #6, for herein lies our fundamental challenge, coupled with our greatest opportunity:

Sentence #6: Laid before us are new options scarcely dreamed of in earlier ages; they empower us to address with more confidence the greatest goal of all time, the unity of the human race. 

The Bottom Line. I am inspired by Dr. Wilson but must admit that when it comes to "unifying the human race," I believe that our chances are exceedingly remote - unless there is some sort of terrifying global disaster that can bring us all together quickly.

As I have said in previous blogs, short of that global disaster, I believe that our best near-term chance to jolt us into action may be for a small, well-known group of the super-wealthy to gather together for a combination of four initial activities:
  1. Education from top scientists regarding the possible collapse of civilization and the extinction of the human species before the end of this century 
  2. Collaboration regarding the choices we have
  3. Organization and planning a global intervention
  4. Launching a $10 billion (or whatever it takes) PR campaign to garner world-wide support regarding the extreme steps we must take to survive. 
Those could be the first steps in the never-ending process of promoting and leading an urgent paradigm shift toward sustainable living on this planet.
Here's where we stand on that initiative:
  • Regarding my appeal last month to ten well-known American billionaires, I have heard from none of them.
  • Nor have I heard from anyone who knows any of them. 
Meanwhile the Arctic keeps melting, temperatures keep rising, our global population keeps growing by 230,000 per day and we keep recklessly consuming more unnecessary "stuff" in a world of finite resources - all while Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos keep focusing on the colonization of planet Mars and the moon. 

And the rest of us? As for this week, we're all consumed with basketball, golf and Nero fiddles.

For your convenience, here are links to three recent blogs about GRATOLA:

Click here for links to all blogs and S.O.S. Memos since 2016

As always, I will continue to focus on all of the above - in my research, my writing and my public speaking.   

As for speaking, I continue to search for mainstream audiences who may have an interest in learning more about a realistically hopeful vision for our future - and their role in making that vision a reality.

As such, I will travel anywhere for an opportunity to speak to one or more groups in each city that I visit. I only ask for travel expense reimbursement and a modest honorarium.

Recently scheduled: An event with Dr. Joel Fuhrman at his   Golden Gate Summer Health Getaway  in California in July and at a VegFest in Sedona, Arizona in January.

As for the specifics of my topic, I invite you to  contact me directly  about how I might tailor my presentation to best suit an audience you may have in mind: 

Universities,  churches,  think-tanks, legislative bodies, environmental  organizations, alumni associations, leadership clubs,  and/or civic groups who may appreciate a message of reality and hope for our future. 

Please let me hear from you directly regarding any ideas or questions you may have.

What else can you do to help? Three things:

1. Live as greenly as possible while doing all that you can to raise the awareness of "big picture" solutions that are crucially necessary for saving our civilization.

2. Share this BSB and my  "Mama Ain't Happy" BSB with prominent journalists, thought leaders and/or elected officials whom you respect. They all need to learn a lot more about the many reasons why  Mama ain't happy.

3. Here are a few more GRATOLA-related blogs that you can share with your most powerful friends, leaders, journalists and movie producers.

Until next time, just remember...

Humanity is on a collision course with Nature.
A damaged Nature will survive. We may not.
We must change course to avert an ecological disaster.

Be well,

J. Morris (Jim) Hicks 
CEO, 4Leaf Global, LLC

I welcome your feedback and/or questions at:

Need  a speaker for your group?  My updated topic for 2019:  Saving our Civilization -- Earth as a "System"

 (now contains 5-minute video of me speaking in Tucson) 

In the past 12 months, I have spoken at a  VegFest in
Fort Myers, at  in Honolulu and Kahului, Maui, the   College of the Holy Cross  in Worcester, MA, a  Plant Powered Manhattan  event in New York, and at a lakeside health conference in  South Haven, Michigan and most recently in Buffalo, NY, and at the University of Scranton.

To schedule a presentation at a venue near you, please contact me at

Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth

Moonglow J. Morris Hicks

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